The New York-Israel connection has become one of the most productive in jazz. Shauli Einav is less edgy and less ethnic than most of his compatriots. His tenor saxophone concept is deep in the modern mainstream.
Pianist Don Friedman and drummer Eliot Zigmund are 40 to 50 years older than Einav, bassist Or Bareket and flute player Itai Kriss. Battle-proven veterans like Friedman and Zigmund are perfect for Einav’s chosen repertoire of tunes by Harold Land, Walter Perkins Jr. and Don Byas. Einav plays hard bop with agility and a clean, clarion, powerful sound. He is even more interesting when he stretches. His solo on Andrew Hill’s “Land of Nod” is a vertical, valid, compelling response to Hill’s tilted logic. Einav’s boldest decision is to take on John Coltrane’s “Crescent,” never pushing the tempo like Coltrane did but lingering on the beauty of the 16-bar melody.